Will Red Sox protect Christian Koss from Rule 5 Draft by adding him to 40-man roster?

By this time next Tuesday, the Red Sox will have added a number of minor-leaguers to their 40-man roster in order to protect them from December’s Rule 5 Draft.

Ceddanne Rafaela will almost certainly be protected. Wilyer Abreu, David Hamilton, Chris Murphy, Brandon Walter, and Thad Ward are also eligible and have interesting cases to be made. The same can be said for Christian Koss, who MLB Pipeline recently identified as Boston’s toughest Rule 5 decision.

Koss, 24, spent the entirety of the 2022 season with Double-A Portland. The versatile right-handed hitter batted .260/.309/.430 with 22 doubles, five triples, 17 home runs, 84 RBIs, 69 runs scored, 16 stolen bases, 25 walks, and 137 strikeouts over 125 games (532 plate appearances) en route to being named the Sea Dogs’ Most Valuable Player.

Among qualified Eastern League hitters, Koss ranked fourth in hits (125), third in RBIs, 11th in runs scored, 19th in stolen bases, 18th in batting average, 16th in speed score (6.5). He also ranked 35th in strikeout rate (25.8 percent), 57th in walk rate (4.7 percent), 43rd in on-base percentage, 35th in wRC+ (99), 60th in line-drive rate (14.4 percent), 57th in groundball rate (48.9 percent), and 48th in swinging-strike rate (14.7 percent), per FanGraphs.

Defensively, Koss saw playing time at five different positions in 2022. The 6-foot-1, 182-pounder logged 214 1/3 innings at second base, 185 innings at third base, 601 2/3 innings at shortstop, nine innings in left field, and 37 innings in right field. This year marked the first time he had ever played the outfield in his professional career.

Koss’ pro career dates back to June 2019, when he was selected by the Rockies in the 12th round of the amateur draft out of the University of California, Irvine. The Red Sox acquired the Riverside native from Colorado in exchange for left-hander Yoan Aybar the following December.

The Red Sox made that trade in order to clear a spot on their 40-man roster. Koss now finds himself in a similar position. As noted by MLB Pipeline, what makes Koss appealing is the fact that he “has solid raw power and speed, not to mention a high baseball IQ.” At the same time, however, Koss’ high strikeout rate and low walk rate indicate that “his lack of plate discipline could be a problem at higher levels” of the minor-leagues.

Koss, who turns 25 in January, is currently regarded by MLB Pipeline as the No. 20 prospect in Boston’s farm system. The former Anteater has spent his offseason playing for the Criollos de Caguas of the Puerto Rican Winter League. There, he has been under the watchful eyes of Red Sox first base coach Ramon Vazquez (Caguas’ manager), WooSox bench coach Jose Flores (Caguas’ infield coach), and Red Sox manager Alex Cora, who hails from Caguas.

If the Red Sox were to add Koss to their 40-man roster by next Tuesday’s deadline, they would retain his rights moving forward. In that scenario, Koss would be in line to make the jump to Triple-A Worcester while providing Boston with infield and outfield depth in 2023.

If the Red Sox do not add Koss to their 40-man roster by November 15, another club could acquire him for $100,000 during next month’s Rule 5 Draft. That team would then be responsible for carrying Koss on their major-league roster for the entirety of the 2023 season. If they were unable to do so, Koss would have to be offered back to the Red Sox for $50,000.

(Picture of Christian Koss: Kelly O’Connor/sittingstill.smugmug.com)

Red Sox’ Miguel Bleis tabbed by MLB Pipeline as ‘Boston’s best international prospect since Rafael Devers’

On Wednesday night, MLB.com’s Jim Callis identified Miguel Bleis as the Red Sox’ best international prospect since Rafael Devers.

Bleis, 18, originally signed with the Red Sox for $1.5 million (the same amount Devers received in 2013) as a highly-touted international free agent coming out of the Dominican Republic in January 2021. After making his professional debut in the Dominican Summer League last year, the San Pedro de Macoris native made the jump to the Florida Complex League this summer.

In 40 games with Boston’s rookie-level, Fort Myers-based affiliate, the right-handed hitting outfielder batted .301/.353/.543 with 14 doubles, four triples, five home runs, 27 RBIs, 28 runs scored, 18 stolen bases, 10 walks, and 45 strikeouts over 167 plate appearances.

Among qualified FCL hitters this season, Bleis ranked seventh in batting average, 24th in on-base percentage, third in slugging percentage, fourth in OPS (.896), 12th in line-drive rate (22.3 percent) second in isolated power (.242), tied for first in speed score (9.3), and sixth in wRC+ (142), per FanGraphs.

While he was undoubtedly one of the top hitters in the lower minors this year, Bleis did struggle a bit when it came to plate discipline, as noted by Callis. In simpler terms, he only walked six percent of the time while striking out at 26.9 percent clip. He also posted the ninth-highest swinging-strike rate (33.8 percent) in the FCL.

Defensively, Bleis saw the majority of his playing time this season come in center field. The 6-foot-3, 170-pounder logged 310 1/3 innings in center and just five innings in right while recording a team-high five outfield assists.

Taking that statistic into consideration, Callis adds that Bleis should be able to stick in center on account of his arm strength. If not, he has the offensive upside and defensive profile to shift over to right.

As the 2022 FCL season drew to a close in August, the Red Sox began promoting several of their younger prospects — such as Mikey Romero and Roman Anthony — to Low-A Salem. Bleis very well could have been part of that group, but the club opted to have him stay in Fort Myers since he was dealing with some back soreness.

Back in September, Red Sox director of player development Brian Abraham told The Athletic’s Chad Jennings that had Bleis been healthy, he would have joined Anthony, Romero, and the like in Salem for the remainder of the minor-league campaign.

“He certainly would have been with that group (that was promoted to Salem),” Abraham said. “We let him know that he would have been with that group. But I think being healthy going into the offseason was the primary concern. So, he stayed in Fort Myers and made sure we got that (back issue) right and then we sent him home. There’s no doubt he had earned a promotion to Salem if not at the end of the year, earlier. He is aware of that.”

Bleis, who turns 19 in March, is currently regarded by MLB Pipeline as the No. 5 prospect in Boston’s farm system. He has yet to crack the publication’s top 100 list, but that could happen sooner rather than later.

Considering what Abraham already told Jennings, it seems likely that Bleis will kick off his first full professional season in Salem next spring. After all, his potential is through the roof and he has the tools to back it up.

“He has five tools. That’s the reality,” said Abraham. “You don’t see that too often. What those five tools will ultimately (become), how they will pan out, not sure. But in terms of the tools, and in terms of the ability to impact the game in various ways, he does that. 

“I think whenever you have a player who does those types of things, he’s someone you want to pay attention to and watch,” added Abraham. “Whether he’s on the bases, whether he’s in the field, whether he’s in the batter’s box, you know something special is going to happen, and I think that’s something he showed during his short time in the states.”

(Picture of Miguel Bleis: Kelly O’Connor/sittingstill.smugmug.com)

Red Sox’ Enmanuel Valdez makes MLB Pipeline’s Prospect Team of the Year

MLB Pipeline revealed their Prospect Team of the Year for 2022 on Thursday. The Red Sox had one representative in infielder Enmanuel Valdez.

Valdez was named the first team’s starting second baseman after batting .296/.376/.542 with 35 doubles, two triples, 28 home runs, 107 RBIs, 92 runs scored, eight stolen bases, 64 walks, and 124 strikeouts in 126 games (573 plate appearances) between Double-A and Triple-A this season.

Among qualified minor-league second basemen, Valdez posted the highest slugging percentage, the second-highest OPS (.918), the third-highest isolated power (.246), the third-most homers, and the second-most RBIs, per FanGraphs.

The 23-year-old out of the Dominican Republic began the 2022 campaign with the Corpus Christi Hooks, the Double-A affiliate of the Astros. He then earned a promotion to Triple-A Sugar Land in early June. Less than two months later, he and fellow prospect Wilyer Abreu were traded to the Red Sox for catcher Christian Vazquez.

While Abreu was assigned to Double-A Portland, Valdez joined Triple-A Worcester. The left-handed hitter made his organizational debut on August 3 and slashed .237/.309/.422 with nine doubles, one triple, seven home runs, 30 RBIs, 26 runs scored, three stolen bases, 19 walks, and 48 strikeouts in 44 games (195 plate appearances with the WooSox.

Valdez’s second-half homers came in bunches. He hit two in his first three games at Polar Park from Aug. 3-5 and enjoyed a two-homer game on Aug. 9. His next big fly did not come until the 28th and his final two came on September 3-4. Over the last three weeks of the minor-league season, Valdez hit just .238 with a .565 OPS across 16 games to close out his year.

Defensively, Valdez saw playing time at three different positions in Worcester. The 5-foot-9, 191-pounder logged 330 innings at second base, 24 innings at third base, and 25 innings in left field.

Originally signed by the Astros for $450,000 as an international free-agent in July 2015, Valdez can become eligible for the Rule 5 Draft and minor-league free agency this winter. The Red Sox will have until late November to decide if they want to protect Valdez from the Rule 5 by adding him to their 40-man roster.

With that being said, it seems unlikely that chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom and Co. would part ways with an established veteran such as Vazquez just to risk losing part of the return for him the following winter. For what it is worth, Abreu can also become Rule 5-eligible in the coming months, though he is under club control through 2024.

Valdez, who turns 24 in December, is currently regarded by MLB Pipeline as the No. 18 prospect in Boston’s farm system. If he remains in the organization through the off-season, Valdez could very well make his major-league debut at some point in 2023. He possesses intriguing power and can play multiple positions, so there is potential for him to undertake a utility role in the not-so-distant future.

(Picture of Enmanuel Valdez: Kelly O’Connor/sittingstill.smugmug.com)

Wikelman Gonzalez recognized by MLB Pipeline as ‘hottest’ pitching prospect in Red Sox farm system

Wikelman Gonzalez was recently recognized by MLB Pipeline as the hottest pitching prospect in the Red Sox farm system.

Since being promoted from Low-A Salem to High-A Greenville last month, Gonzalez has posted a 2.65 ERA and 2.54 FIP to go along with 23 strikeouts to six walks over four starts (17 innings pitched) for the Drive. The right-hander struck out four across five one-run frames in his last time out against the Asheville Tourists at Fluor Field on Wednesday.

Prior to earning that promotion, Gonzalez began the 2022 season in Salem and produced a 4.54 ERA (3.86 FIP) with 98 punchouts to 48 walks over 21 starts (81 1/3 innings). Since making the jump from Low-A to High-A, the 20-year-old hurler has been getting strikeouts more frequently (27.4% to 32.9% strikeout rate) while giving up fewer walks (13.4% to 8.6% walk rate).

Gonzalez is currently regarded by MLB Pipeline as the No. 15 prospect in Boston’s farm system, which ranks fifth among pitchers in the organization. The Red Sox originally signed the native Venezuelan for $250,000 as an international free-agent coming out of Maracay in July 2018.

Listed at 6-feet and 167 pounds, Gonzalez “operates at 92-95 mph and tops out at 97 with quality life on his heater. He gets good depth on his upper-70s curveball when he stays on top of it, though it devolves into a slurve at times. He has advanced feel for a mid-80s changeup with fade and isn’t afraid to use it,” per his MLB Pipeline scouting report.

Gonzalez, who does not turn 21 until next March, can become Rule 5-eligible for the first time in his career this winter. The Red Sox would need to add him to their 40-man roster by the November deadline in order to prevent that from happening.

Given that he is still young and has yet to pitch above High-A, it is no sure thing that Boston will protect — and therefore commit a 40-man roster spot to — Gonzalez this fall.

With that being said, Gonzalez possesses exciting potential and still has room to grow. As MLB Pipeline put it, “consistent control will be the deciding factor in Gonzalez’s pursuit of a Major League rotation spot.”

(Picture of Wikelman Gonzalez: Gwinn Davis/Greenville Drive)

Red Sox’ Eddinson Paulino named to MLB Pipeline’s Prospect Team of the Week

Not to be overshadowed by the likes of Niko Kavadas or Blaze Jordan, Red Sox infield prospect Eddinson Paulino was named to MLB Pipeline’s Prospect Team of the Week on Monday.

Representing second-base prospects across Minor League Baseball, Paulino went 12-for-25 (.480) with two doubles, two triples, two home runs, seven RBIs, eight runs scored, five stolen bases, six walks, and two strikeouts in Low-A Salem’s latest six-game series against the Delmarva Shorebirds at Carilion Clinic Field.

Paulino, 19, is currently regarded by MLB Pipeline as the No. 19 prospect in Boston’s farm system. The Red Sox originally signed the Dominican-born infielder as an international free-agent for $205,000 on his 16th birthday in 2018.

With 2022 marking his first full season in pro ball, Paulino got off to a rocky start with Salem by posting a wRC+ of 77 in the month of April. Since the calendar flipped to May, however, the left-handed hitter has turned a corner offensively by slashing a stout .299/.399/.518 (154 wRC+) with 14 doubles, three triples, four homers, 21 runs driven in, 37 runs scored, 12 stolen bases, 26 walks, and 28 strikeouts over his last 41 games and 193 trips to the plate.

Among qualified Carolina League hitters this season, Paulino now ranks first in doubles (18), second in triples (8), second in runs scored (48), 14th in RBIs (32), ninth in walks drawn (32), 16th in strikeout rate (18.5%), 21st in stolen bases (13), 21st in batting average (.267), 27th in on-base percentage (.360), 11th in slugging percentage (.475), 13th in OPS (.835), 10th in isolated power (.208), eighth in speed score (8.7), and 15th in wRC+ (131), per FanGraphs.

On the other side of the ball, Paulino has understandably seen the majority of his playing time this year come at second base. But the 5-foot-10, 155 pounder has also played some third base and shortstop while logging a total of 46 defensive innings between left and center field.

Per his MLB Pipeline scouting report, Paulino possesses 50-grade speed “and displays good instincts on the bases. He has reliable hands and some twitchy athleticism but his quickness and average arm strength are a bit stretched at shortstop.”

Paulino, who turns 20 next month, can become eligible for the Rule 5 Draft for the first time in his career this winter unless he is otherwise added to Boston’s 40-man roster before then. As of now, it looks like the Red Sox would be taking a risk if they were to leave the Santiago native unprotected come late November.

That being said, there is still plenty of time left before the 2022 season comes to a close. Perhaps Paulino can use it to his advantage like he has already been doing in recent weeks.

(Picture of Eddinson Paulino: Gary Streiffer/Flickr)

Should Red Sox consider taking Oregon State outfielder Jacob Melton with top pick in this year’s draft?

With the 2022 MLB Draft fast approaching, the Red Sox continue to be linked to college outfielders in recently-published mock drafts from industry experts.

MLB.com’s Jim Callis, for instance, has the Red Sox taking University of Tennessee outfielder Drew Gilbert with their top pick in his latest mock that was released on Wednesday night.

Last week, Baseball America’s Carlos Collazo had Boston selecting University of California, Berkeley outfielder Dylan Beavers with the 24th overall pick.

Needless to say, there seems to be some speculation within the industry that chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom and Co. could be leaning towards taking a college bat when the Red Sox are first on the clock on July 17.

Taking that into consideration, Oregon State outfielder Jacob Melton should probably be viewed as a potential Red Sox target as well. In fact, Collazo wrote that the Oregon native “is being scouted throughout the back of the first round.”

Melton, 21, is currently regarded by Baseball America and MLB Pipeline as the 25th- and 54th-ranked prospect in this year’s draft class, respectively.

In 60 games with the Beavers (who are currently in the super regionals of the College World Series) this season, the left-handed hitting junior batted a stout .360/.422/.668 with 21 doubles, four triples, 16 home runs, 81 RBIs, 65 runs scored, 21 stolen bases, 24 walks, and 47 strikeouts over 282 plate appearances en route to being named the Pac-12 Conference’s Player of the Year.

Per his Baseball America scouting report, Melton’s “production is prettier than his swing, which is described as ‘unorthodox’ and features plenty of moving parts. He starts with an open stance and features a leg kick in his load, with a long load that includes a barrel dump on the back half and an arm bar. Despite those mechanics, Melton has plenty of bat speed and the athleticism to make it work. While his bat path might not be ideal, his barrel stays in the zone for a long time and he has the strength to drive the ball with authority, with a frame that suggests more could be coming.”

MLB Pipeline, on the other hand, notes that the 6-foot-3, 208 pounder “has the chance to do some damage from the left side of the plate. He has an advanced approach at the plate and makes a ton of contact. He also has a good amount of juice to his pull side, and he’s tapped into that power even more in 2022, leading some scouts to think he might have better than average pop in the future.”

Defensively, Melton has moved from first base to the outfield over the course of his collegiate career and has now established himself as Oregon State’s everyday center fielder. Baseball America labels his arm strength as average while MLB Pipeline indicates that he is capable of playing all three outfield positions given his plus speed, which also helps him on the basepaths.

Melton, who turns 22 in September, is projected to go to the Giants at No. 30 by Collazo and to the Astros at No. 28 by Callis. The recommended slot value for both of this picks ($2.485 million and 2.62 million, respectively) is a bit lower than the $2,974,900 attached to the Red Sox’ first-round selection.

Because of this difference, the Sox could look to cut an underslot deal with Melton if they were to take him at No. 24, though that remains to be seen for a number of reasons.

Boston last used a first-rounder on an Oregon State player in 2005, when speedy outfielder Jacoby Jacoby Ellsbury was selected with the 23rd overall pick. Unlike Ellsbury at that time, though, Melton has never been drafted before.

(Picture of Jacob Melton: Zac BonDurant/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

2022 MLB Draft prospect Tucker Toman works out for Red Sox in Greenville

The Red Sox hosted Hammond School (Columbia, S.C.) infielder Tucker Toman for a pre-draft workout at Fluor Field in Greenville on Saturday, according to SportsTalk Media Network.

Toman, 18, is the son of current Middle Tennessee State baseball coach Jim Toman. He is also currently regarded by MLB Pipeline as the No. 42 draft-eligible prospect and by Baseball America as the No. 70 prospect in this year’s draft class.

A switch-hitter, Toman batted .487 and slugged .887 with seven home runs and 27 RBIs in his senior season with the Skyhawks. The South Carolina native is committed to play his college baseball at the esteemed Louisiana State University, but he is expected to go pro this summer.

Per his MLB Pipeline scouting report, “Toman shows better bat speed with his left-handed stroke but is proficient from both sides of the plate. He understands his swing and barrels balls with ease when he just concentrates on making hard contact to all fields. He got too aggressive and pull-happy at times last summer but has the hittability, bat speed and strength for at least average and perhaps plus power without swinging for the fences.”

Baseball America, on the other hand, notes that Toman “has impressive power potential as a switch-hitter and is an offensive-oriented infielder who had an up-and-down summer. At his best, Toman barreled the baseball and sprayed line drives and deep fly balls all over the field, but he also had events where he swung and missed consistently and got himself out with bad chases on pitches out of the zone.”

Defensively, the 6-foot-1, 190 pounder is described by MLB Pipeline as a player with an uncertain future given that he only has below-average speed and average arm strength.

“The best-case scenario would be third base, where his arm and hands might be a little light but he has the work ethic to possibly make it to happen,” Toman’s scouting report reads. “Second base seems like a bigger stretch with his lack of quickness, and he could wind up on an outfield corner.”

Toman, who turns 19 in November, could very well be someone the Red Sox target in the second round as opposed to the first in this year’s amateur draft, which begins in Los Angeles on July 17.

Boston owns the 24th and 41st overall picks in the 2022 draft. They also own the 79th overall selection, which they received as compensation for losing Eduardo Rodriguez to the Tigers in free agency.

While it remains to be seen just how interested the Red Sox are in a prospect such as Toman, it is somewhat intriguing that this information got out there.

(Picture of Tucker Toman via his Instagram)

Latest MLB Pipeline mock draft has Red Sox selecting Stanford University outfielder Brock Jones with top pick

In his latest 2022 mock draft for MLB.com, MLB Pipeline’s Jim Callis has the Red Sox taking Stanford University outfielder Brock Jones with their top pick at No. 24 overall.

Jones, 21, is regarded by MLB Pipeline as the 31st-ranked prospect in this year’s draft class. In 52 games for the Cardinal this regular season, the left-handed hitting junior batted a stout .328/.464/.682 with nine doubles, five triples, 17 home runs, 46 RBIs, 63 runs scored, 14 stolen bases, 47 walks, and 58 strikeouts over 252 plate appearances.

A native of Fresno, Calif., Jones began his collegiate career as a two-sport athlete who played both football and baseball. As a safety who was limited to special teams duties as a freshman, the 6-foot, 197 pounder gave up football to solely focus on baseball beginning in 2021.

Since he used to play safety, it should come as no surprise that — per his MLB Pipeline scouting report — Jones “has good reads and routes to give him a chance to play center field long-term, though his arm is fringy at best from the outfield.”

The majority of Jones’ playing time this year has come in center field, though he does have prior experience in left field as well.

At the plate, MLB Pipeline notes that Jones has “always swung and missed a fair amount,” which has kept him from getting to his power at times. Still, with a sturdy frame that is just about maxed out at this point, Jones possesses intriguing speed and heads-up instincts, making him a threat on the basepaths.

Jones, who does not turn 22 until next March, has drawn comparisons to fellow left-handed hitter and California native Joc Pederson due to his slugging abilities. There is some concern about his offensive profile moving forward, but the athleticism and raw tools are certainly there.

Because of what he offers, Jones is projected to be taken in the first round of this year’s amateur draft, which gets underway in Los Angeles on July 17. The recommended slot value for the 24th overall selection comes in at roughly $2.975 million.

In addition to Jones, the Red Sox have been linked to other college outfielders such as UC Berkeley’s Dylan Beavers and University of Tennessee teammates Jordan Beck and Drew Gilbert in other mock drafts.

(Picture of Brock Jones: Douglas Stringer/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Latest MLB Pipeline mock draft has Red Sox selecting Buford High School right-hander Dylan Lesko with top pick

In his latest 2022 mock draft for MLB Pipeline, MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo has the Red Sox selecting Buford High School (Ga.) right-hander Dylan Lesko with their top pick at No. 24 overall.

Lesko, 18, is regarded by MLB Pipeline as the No. 9 draft-eligible prospect, which ranks first among pitchers in this year’s class. Despite the hype, the Georgia native recently underwent Tommy John surgery in late April, which is why Mayo has him falling to the late first round.

Prior to going under the knife, Lesko was coming off a dominant 2021 campaign for Buford in which he posted a 0.35 ERA with 112 strikeouts over 60 innings en route to becoming the first junior ever to take home Gatorade national baseball player of the year honors. He also got his 2022 season off to to a promising start before suffering an elbow injury that ultimately required Tommy John on April 26.

Listed at 6-foot-3 and 195 pounds, Lesko impressed scouts on the showcase circuit by working with a 92-95 mph fastball that tops out at 97 mph as well as “the best changeup in the draft” and a curveball that has “the potential to become a plus weapon,” per Mayo.

Already equipped with a repeatable delivery, Lesko — who turns 19 in September — is currently committed to play college baseball at the esteemed Vanderbilt University should he choose not to go pro this summer.

While recovering from Tommy John will keep him sidelined for the next 12-15 months, there is still a strong chance Lesko is the first pitcher taken off the board come July 17 in Los Angeles.

The Red Sox have not used a first-round pick on a high school pitcher since 2016, when they took left-hander Jay Groome out of Barnegat High School in New Jersey with the 12th overall selection in that year’s draft.

Boston signed Groome for $3.65 million six years ago. This time around, the assigned slot value for the No. 24 pick in the 2022 draft comes in at roughly $2.975 million.

(Picture of Dylan Lesko: Daniel Shirey/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

Latest MLB Pipeline mock draft has Red Sox taking University of Tennessee outfielder Jordan Beck with top pick

In his latest 2022 mock draft for MLB.com, Jim Callis has the Red Sox taking University of Tennessee outfielder Jordan Beck with their top pick at No. 24 overall.

Boston originally selected Beck in the 14th round of the 2019 amateur draft out of Hazel Green High School. The Alabama native, however, elected to honor his commitment to Tennessee rather than go pro at that time.

Fast forward three years, and Beck is now in the midst of his junior season with the top-ranked, 43-6 Volunteers. The right-handed hitter has appeared in all 49 of those games and has batted .314/.384/.592 with 12 doubles, one triple, 13 home runs, 45 RBIs, 51 runs scored, six stolen bases, 21 walks, and 43 strikeouts across 216 trips to the plate coming into play on Thursday.

Listed at 6-foot-3 and 225 pounds, Beck has seen the majority of his playing time this season come in right field, though he also has past experience in center and in left. Last summer, for instance, he made seven appearances in center field for the Harwich Mariners of the Cape Cod Baseball League.

Beck, who turned 21 last month, is currently regarded by MLB Pipeline as the 21st-ranked draft-eligible prospect in this year’s class. Baseball America, on the other hand, has Beck coming in as their No. 17 prospect.

Given his size, position, and background, Beck has drawn comparisons to former Red Sox outfielder Hunter Renfroe, who was also drafted out of an SEC school in Mississippi State University.

Per his MLB Pipeline scouting report, Beck “uses his bat speed, strength and the leverage in his 6-foot-3 frame to create well above-average raw power to all fields.” And although he can get too aggressive at the plate, he has been able to develop more discipline and make adjustments against breaking balls and changeups this year.

On the other side of things, MLB Pipeline notes that “Beck runs very well for his size, displaying solid speed and the ability to steal an occasional base. His plus arm strength adds to his profile in right field, where he’s a better-than-average defender.”

Baseball America describes Beck as “a powerful athlete” who possesses plus raw power and quality arm strength. He has the capabilities to play center field although he has not been asked to do so too much throughout his collegiate career because of teammate Drew Gilbert.

At this point, it is not yet known how much Beck will be looking to sign for when he is drafted during the All-Star break in July. That being said, we already know the assigned slot value for the 24th overall pick will come in at roughly $2.975 million.

(Picture of Jordan Beck: Saul Young/News Sentinel / USA TODAY NETWORK)